Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 9:30 p.m., April 3)
Orléans mom's dying wish; to find a new home for her adopted kids

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Diane Bowman is hoping to find a local couple who are willing to be legal guardians of her adopted children Daniel and Claudia. Jean Levac/Ottawa Citizen Photo

Diane Bowman, 72, is dying from organ failure and is desparately trying to find legal guardians for her adopted children, Daniel, 13, and Claudia, 10.

The former nurse delivered and later adopted the siblings while she was doing missionary work in Mexico. After being diagnosed with a severe cardiac condition in 2004, she returned to Canada with the two kids and eventually ended up in Ottawa where she underwent a heart transplant.

She has since developed skin cancer and suffers from diabetes. Her transplanted heart is now failing and so are her kidneys. While her doctors can't say exactly how much time she has left, they have told her that her body is slowly shutting down and that it's only a matter of time before it shuts down entirely.

Bowman, who has no family or close friends in Ottawa, is hoping that whatever time she does have left, is enough to find legal guardians for Daniel and Claudia and avoid the possibility of foster care, adoption and relocation.

The process, even if a couple were to come forward, could prove to be complicated, difficult and a legal minefield. While Bowman could technically name legal guardians in her will, provincial law prohibits private adoption in Ontario which means the Children's Aid Society would likely step in to determine where the kids end up going.

The CAS has placed the kids in foster homes a number of times while Bowman has undergone treatment for her various illnesses. The most recent placement was for a month late last year.

In a perfect world, the two children would be placed with a local family with as little disruption as possible. Bowman wants the kids to remain near their friends and continue going to the same schools. She is hoping by going public she will be able to find a compatible couple in time to deal with any potential legal issues that might have to be rectified.

In the end, her only wish is to find her kids a loving, nurturing home in the same community in which they've spent the majority of their young lives. Ironically, that would be the same goal as the CAS should circumsrtances require their involvement.

"We would always strive to identify an individual, regardless of whether they're potential foster parents or adoptive parents, (who) could become permanent in their children's lives," says CAS spokeswoman Cindy Parent. "That's always the idea, to make is as easy, comfortable and permanent."

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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